Breast-lesion Segmentation Combining B-Mode and Elastography Ultrasound

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Breast ultrasound (BUS) imaging has become a crucial modality, especially for providing a complementary view when other modalities (i.e., mammography) are not conclusive in the task of assessing lesions. The specificity in cancer detection using BUS imaging is low. These false-positive findings often lead to an increase of unnecessary biopsies. In addition, increasing sensitivity is also challenging given that the presence of artifacts in the B-mode ultrasound (US) images can interfere with lesion detection. To deal with these problems and improve diagnosis accuracy, ultrasound elastography was introduced. This paper validates a novel lesion segmentation framework that takes intensity (B-mode) and strain information into account using a Markov Random Field (MRF) and a Maximum a Posteriori (MAP) approach, by applying it to clinical data. A total of 33 images from two different hospitals are used, composed of 14 cancerous and 19 benign lesions. Results show that combining both the B-mode and strain data in a unique framework improves segmentation results for cancerous lesions (Dice Similarity Coefficient of 0.49 using B-mode, while including strain data reaches 0.70), which are difficult images where the lesions appear with blurred and not well-defined boundaries.

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